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which bass to gig with

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by wcnewby, Nov 6, 2013.

  1. I play gigs with a cort curbow five string, but as a backup I bring my Lightwave Classica. The classica is an awesome bass super picky, super sensitive. It is fretless, with an ebony fretboard. If you aren't on the spot, you can hear it. I practice with the fretless at home, and it makes me way more accurate when I play a fretted bass, even the hardest riffs feel easy once you master them on a fretless.

    I have only played it for a gig one time, and that was because it was like a hundred degrees in my van and when I went to test out the curbow all the strings were buzzing on the frets. the fretless didn't have this problem.

    The Classica is lighter, way more punchy, and I would like to play it more on stage, but I'm still scared of it. Super punchy and super sensitive are not a combination for a bassist of my skill level... not in front of people. Plus, there are some songs that don't want a fretless sound, there are some that do... I'm not sure I want to be switching basses during a gig unless it will be for more than one song. It is a shame because the classica is such a fine bass.

    Do the guys who switch basses during gigs find that it is worth the trouble? I could get by with one, I do. I know I would be able to tell the difference... but the audience, I doubt they would. Is it mostly a matter of personal taste then? How you feel about the way you sound?
  2. maxiegrant

    maxiegrant Bassist in Transition

    Nov 26, 2007
    Sellersburg, IN
    I have songs that are meant for the fretless, I have songs that I really want to use a 5-string on, and I just added a Squier Bass VI to my lineup.

    I am not really worried that the audience can tell, but I sure can. I put myself in front of a bunch of people and commit to keeping them mildly interested in what I'm doing. If I'm going to be sweating it out up there, I want to be playing with the toys I love.
  3. Bassist4Eris

    Bassist4Eris Frat-Pack Sympathizer

    This is where it pays to know how to adjust your truss rod. If you'd loosened a quarter of a turn, your Curbow would probably have been fine.

    Do I feel it's worth the trouble? Yes. I switch between conventional bass and 8-string, and audience members have commented positively on the difference (believe it or not). Even if your audience can't tell the difference, you've stated that you can. Don't you think that will have an influence on your performance?

    If you can afford one, a Radial Bass Bone will reduce the "trouble" to about zero. The budget option would be something like the EHX Switchblade. A couple of decent stands, and a strap for each bass, and you're good to go.

    All the greats always say that the gig is where you really learn. So I encourage you to go forth and rock that fretless! :bassist:
  4. Yeah, I know how to adjust the truss rod, but I knew my bass was not going to be a hundred degrees for long, and I didn't want to have the neck moving during the gig. It is hard enough keeping in tune on the African gigs.

    I will have to look up the radial bass bone. I put Dunlop hardware on all my basses so that I only need one strap. It sucks that I have so many leftover buttons, but what the heck. I already have stands, because I like the chicas out where I can grab them.

    As far as rocking the fretless, I am working that way. But man, it is so unforgiving... front man has ears like a jack-rabbit and the scorchingest stink eye I have ever seen. Women can't do it as well as he can... but I love playing it, so it is only a matter of time before I am worthy of it. ;)
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I hate switching basses during gigs unless I have separate EQ for each. And then I still hate it because it slows the show down. Once in a while I'll do it, but I don't consider it fun all that much.
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Wherever you go, there you are. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 11, 2008
    the Cali Intergalctic Mind Space
    Song Surgeon slow downer software- full 4 hour demo
    If you're that uptight doing it at a gig, how about trying at a rehearsal?
  7. I've played it at rehearsal and it works out... The thing is, I'm never nervous at rehearsal. ;)

    It will come around, it is just confidence that my fingers will do what I want without me staring at them.

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